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Subwoofer: simultaneous high and low level connections

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Godfather, May 17, 2003.

  1. Godfather

    Godfather
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    I've always just used the low level connection from AV amp to subwoofer. Problem now is that I've bought a dedicated CD player and an integrated stereo amp (Arcam A22), the latter will be connected to the front pre-outs of my AV amp. My main speakers are standmounts and won't be able to handle deep bass, so I would like to connect the stereo amp to the subwoofer at high level. I also want to keep the low level connection for movies. There's only one master volume control on my sub, so one problem I can foresee is that the volume for the high and low levels is likely to be different, but I guess adjustments can be made on my AV amp to change the low level volume, so that I won't have to move the volume dial on the sub when switching between stereo and AV.

    Would the above work? Or are there other problems I need to think about?
     
  2. Spligsey

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    Godfather, check in your instruction manual to make sure the high/low level connections can be used simultaneously, because when i had a HGS-18 you couldn't !

    Adzman
     
  3. Godfather

    Godfather
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    Oh dear, I think you're right. From the manual: Do not use both LINE-IN and FROM AMPLIFIER inputs simultaenously. :(

    Did you actually try it? If so, what happened?
     
  4. Godfather

    Godfather
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    I guess the alternative would be to connect at high level only, and set my front speakers to LARGE, all other speakers to SMALL, sub to NONE, so all the bass is directed to the fronts which are then 'retrieved' by the sub. But that means I won't be able to use the BFD. :(

    Any other ideas?
     
  5. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Not positive ... but a Paradigm X-30 might be your solution - someone else will probably be able to confirm or deny this.

    Or swap cables when needs be - this works if you have a Neutrik Speakon connector better than if High Level input is on banana sockets (Neutrik can safely be left unplugged but bananas risk getting knocked together shorting the amps speaker outputs).

    Vikki
     
  6. Godfather

    Godfather
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    Thanks. I've looked at the various threads about the X30, but can't quite work out how it would fit into my system. The X20 might be more suitable as it has speaker level inputs (the X30 doesn't) and line level outputs. This is really doing my head in!
     
  7. Godfather

    Godfather
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    I think I've got it:

    On the AV amp, I'll set the main speakers to large, all others to small, sub to none. AV amp front preouts to stereo amp. Stereo amp to Paradigm X20 at high level, X20 to front speakers at high level, X20 to BFD at low level, BFD to subwoofer at low level. I'll use the X20 is set the crossover at around 80Hz.

    Does that make any sense?
     
  8. NicolasB

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    Sounddog is right: get an X.30 controller (or similar). The chain then goes:

    Code:
    CD player
          |
          V
    AV processor
          |
          V
    X.30 controller ---> subwoofer low-level input
          |
          V
    stereo amp
          |
          V
    speakers

    As you say, you'll need to set the processor so it has the front speakers as "large" and the subwoofer as "none" or "not present". What then happens is that bass redirected from other speakers is mixed with the LFE channel and the front L&R channels. All of that is sent to the fronts. Then the X.30 strips out all the stuff below 80Hz and sends that to the sub, while all the stuff above 80Hz goes on to the stereo amp and the speakers.
     
  9. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    Have two subs?

    A music sub and a AV sub.
     
  10. Godfather

    Godfather
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    Thanks for taking the time to do that 'diagram'. I thought of that, but then the CD player will be connected to the AV amp, which is what I am trying to avoid by buying a dedicated stereo amp.
     
  11. Godfather

    Godfather
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    I thought of that as well (there's a CHT15 on the classifieds), but seems a bit excessive!
     
  12. nathan_silly

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    Probably the easiest solution though. I'll be going down this route...

    Rel Storm high-level from the integrated Hi-Fi amp (stereo)
    And dual SVS CS-Ultra's for .1 LFE from MC-1 subwoofer out.

    Currently using a crappy Yamaha for the stereo sub until I buy the SVS's.
     
  13. Godfather

    Godfather
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    Would I have to turn off the high level sub when playing movies? I guess not as setting the main speakers to 'small' on the AV amp means that little or no low frequencies go to the main speakers (and high level sub).
     
  14. Godfather

    Godfather
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    I'm also considering the option of getting some bigger main speakers and to do without the sub in stereo.
     
  15. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Try taking a look at the Outlaw ICBM ... $250 but not sure if you can get hold of one in the UK - they might be able to send you one.

    Connect LFE from AV to the Outlaw, then also connect the pre-amp output from your A22 (thats right isn't it?) to the left and right inputs on the Outlaw. The Outlaw ICBM can then be adjusted for the crossover level for the fronts.

    I think thats how you could use it in your situation, but best to take a look at their website (http://www.outlawaudio.com//products/icbm.html)

    Vikki
     
  16. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Some people have a dedicated room but you obviously have a dedicated house for all that lot ;)

    If you are using the same pair of speakers for Hifi and AV positioning three large subwoofers would be a nightmare in most rooms
     
  17. MikeK

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    You could also do the following:

    Connect CD and front speakers to A22.
    Connect A22 preouts to 2011 CD input.

    Then you have two choices.

    1.) When listening to CD, power up the 2011, select CD input, and turn main speakers off (in fact if you select a stereo mode which also works with bass management, you may not even need to do this). Don't select a direct mode, as you want bass management working.
    The 2011 will take the input, and bass manage it, outputting the bass content of the signal to the BFD/CHT15 via the subwoofer preout. The rest of the signal will be discarded to all intents and purposes, as the main speakers (C,SL,SB,SR) are off or else ignored. The signal will still be ouput on the FL/FR preouts to the A22 though, but will then be ignored by the A22, as it has the CD input selected, not the input for the 2011 preouts.
    You'd need to set up bass management so that the front speakers are crossed over at the same point as your main speakers start to roll off. The settings are a bit coarse on the 2011, so you'll probably just have to plump for 50Hz, but this is probably around the right setting anyway!
    You'd also need to do the reverse volume set up for the A22/2011 combination. IE, for AV use, you'll already know the level to set on the A22 so that it matches up to the 2011. For CD use, you'll need to know the level of the 2011 volume to set so that it matches with the A22 (which becomes the master volume controller for CD playback).
    The possible problem is the bass management on the 2011 is a bit coarse, and AFAIK doesn't allow individual speakers to be set - while a 50Hz crossover may be OK for your fronts and centre in AV mode, it's probably a bit low for your surrounds - however, THX mode may come to the rescue, as AFAIK, when selectedthat overrides your settings and sets 80Hz all round anyway (not 100% on that with a 2011 though, and it does depend on whether you like THX mode or not)


    A slight alteration to this setup, would be to feed the digital ouput of the CD player into the CD digital in on the 2011, instead of the preouts from the A22. From there, it's just the same as above!

    2.) Similar to above, but this time use a phono combiner and feed the preouts from A22, combined, into the subwoofer in jack of the multichannel input on the 2011.
    For CD, powerup the 2011 and select multichannel input.
    Then switch the subdirect switch out on the CHT15, and set the CHT15's crossover so that the sub comes up just below the main speaker's roll off point.
    Setup like this, you would have to switch the subdirect switch on the CHT15 in/out depending on whether you're in AV or CD mode, but unfortunately it seems every conceivable solution to your problem has at least one drawback.
     
  18. Godfather

    Godfather
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    That's brilliant! Method 1 might be better as I want to use the multichannel inputs for DVD-A/SACD playback on my Pioneer 757.
     
  19. Godfather

    Godfather
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    Just had a look at the ICBM and it sounds promising. Will try Mike's suggestion first because it's cheaper!
     
  20. NicolasB

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    Okay, now I've figured out that you mean you'd bought a stereo integrated amplifer rather than a stereo power, how about this?

    Get an X.30 and an audio switch box.

    Connect CD player to one switch box input.
    Connect processor front L&R pre-outs to other switch box input.
    Turn front L&R channels up loud, others down lower. Set L&R speakers to large, sub to none.
    Connect switchbox output to X.30 input.
    Connect X.30 output into stereo amp.
    Connect front speakers into stereo amp.
    Connect active sub to X.30.

    So:

    Code:
    
    CD Player                                           Processor ------> centre/surround speakers
         |                                                       |
         |______                                  _______|
                    '----> Switch Box  <----'
                                      |
                                      |
                                      V
                              X.30 Controller ------> Active sub
                                      |
                                      |
                                      V
                              Stereo Amp
                                      |
                                      |
                                      V
                            Front Speakers
     
  21. Godfather

    Godfather
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    I've edited my first post to make it clearer that I've bought an integrated stereo amp and not a power amp.

    That would work too, but the output signal of the CD player would have to go through 2 'boxes' before getting to the stereo amp. I guess with good qualily electronics there shouldn't be much degradation in sound quality, but having spent a fair sum for this upgrade, I'd prefer a more direct connection between the CDP and the stereo amp.
     
  22. nathan_silly

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    Heh. My simple "Two Subs" post holds true.

    Mitek's over complicated method is a PITA. Simpler having two subs, switch the music one when watching a DVD, and switch the AV sub off when listening to music.

    Also you can have seperate crossover/volumes for each. You might like the music subwoofer at a lower crossover point or lower in volume compared to the AV sub.

    Ian...hmm.. I might get 4 CS-Ultra's.. :D
     
  23. Godfather

    Godfather
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    PITA?? Complicated it may be, but Mike's method is free! It'll also allow me to use the BFD for both stereo and AV. And when listening to stereo music, I'll even be able to control the subwoofer volume independently with my AV amp's remote control!

    I'll certainly give it a go before splashing out on another sub (say a CHT15) and a pair of speaker cables which together would cost me £700+.

    Thanks for everyone's input (no pun intended)!
     
  24. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    With my layout there's no reason why you can't put a BFD in between the X.30 and the sub. I take the point about too many boxes, but this will probably still work better than using high-level sub inputs. If you go down that route then the stereo amp will devote most of its power output to producing the <80Hz bass, all of which will be dissipated as heat by the attenuator rather than actually driving any speakers, so much of the benefit of using the stereo amp in the first place will be gone.

    It's conceivable that you may find some sort of X.30-like device which has two switchable inputs, of course. That would take the switch box out of the equation.
     
  25. MikeK

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    What does PITA mean?

    Didn't realise it was a p**ing contest chaps! :) :)


    On a final note, personally I wouldn't consider an A22 as being particularly short of power (sane volume levels assumed of course :) ), so suggesting it may struggle to drive a pair of MA S1's is a highly debatable point IMO, no matter what you throw at it!! Personally I think it will cope just fine! It may well sound none too shabby either :)

    A second sub is always an option, but it makes the assumption that
    1) you have a spare £700
    2) you have space to accomodate it
    3) that it will actually sound any better!


    Then again, if money's no object and you have a big room.......
     
  26. Godfather

    Godfather
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    Worked it out in the moments before I fell asleep last night. PITA = Pain in the ****!
     
  27. slingshot

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    Why not go for the simple method? Set sub to no and use the high level input for everything ?

    That's what I did in the end and it works fine, I seem to get smoother more integrated bass for HC aswell as music. Guess it depends how your mains cope with having all that bass thrown at them.

    Slingshot
     
  28. Godfather

    Godfather
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    I agree it's probably better to keep things at low level.

    Mike, I think I've found a flaw if your method 1 (b) - i.e. using the digital out of the CD player to the AV amp. Basically, I won't be able to control the 'bass volume' with the A22, so every time I change the main volume on the A22, I'll also have to use the AV amp's volume control to adjust the bass.

    The A22 preouts to the AV amp's CD input should work though. Having thought about it more, it's actually quite simple: CD player to stereo amp to main speakers (just like any other conventional stereo system), and using the AV amp as an external bass manager. My mains will still receive a full range signal from the A22, and the subwoofer will fill in the bottom octaves below 50Hz. For AV, I'll use THX mode so that all speakers will be crossed over at 80Hz.
     
  29. Godfather

    Godfather
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    Just connected it all up as above. Works very well and actually much simpler in practice than in paper. Thanks Mike.
     
  30. cameronl

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    hi there, thanks to everyone for this thread - it has been a great help in setting up my a75+/yammy 630/sub.

    I have a question though...

    when I follow this step

    Connect CD and front speakers to A75+.
    Connect A75+ preouts to Yam 630 CD input.
    set Yam 630 to stereo

    It all works as required; however, I now find the volume of the bass reflects the yam 630's volume control which is abit of a pain - is there any way around this?

    At least it mostly works now as I can turn the av amp off and I only loose the bass - I still get stereo from the A75+.

    When using the av/dvd input all of the volume is controlled by the av amp - so when that is off I get no sound at all. When I'm in this mode everything works perfectly (if I select stereo mode) but I cant help but think I'm missing out on a little bit of the purer sound from the A75+....

    thanks all

    CaM
     

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